My knees, feet and hips were shrieking with indignation, after a day standing on a concrete floor facilitating a workshop for ten enthusiastic participants.
The thought of punishing my body parts further by walking back to my hotel was enough to make them mutinous to the degree that I spent the entire evening and much of a wakeful night applying much tender loving care to the aches and pains.
Listening, and then paying attention, to what my body is trying to say is a relatively new behaviour for me, although intellectually I have subscribed to the theory for years.
Despite the fact that I have had two knee surgeries, a lump removed from my back and a gain, loss, then gain again of at least an additional 25kgs, I had a blissful belief (in that ‘I never even think about it’ way) through my 20’s, 30’s and 40’s that my body and its mysterious workings were simply not a barrier to anything I chose to do.
And while I wasn’t queuing up to run marathons, climb mountains, frequent gyms or do anything vaguely taxing, my body’s ability to get me where I wanted to go, pain free, was simply taken for granted.
Fast forward another 15 years and reality has well and truly bitten my expanding butt.
It hasn’t exactly been a flash of the blindingly obvious – I do have twice weekly 1.1 Pilates sessions to help my flexibility after all – but every once in a while I am amazed by my sheer refusal, at some base level, to accept that my body requires more thought and attention than I give it, in order for it to serve me well.
Why, for example, did I wear less than supportive footwear for a full day standing, when I know from past experience that I will ache at the end of the day?
On reflection it was not because when planning my clothes for three days working out of town I thought that the boots would look good with my various outfits. No, sadly it was simply because they were the first ones I grabbed which fitted in my small suitcase!
While I had thought about easing the impact on my body by using a case with good wheels, I hadn’t given enough respect to how my body would feel beyond that.
And as a facilitator accustomed to standing for decent chunks of time, that was a serious lapse in judgment. A rookie mistake, even.
It seems like not that long ago, my body would have bounced back after an hour or two with my feet up. Now? Suffice to say, my body has my attention, respect and the gratitude it so deserves. I now bow to the fact that my body is the big bad boss of me.
Note to self: Surely to goodness this is a lesson I do NOT need to learn again!
What body lessons do you NOT need to learn again?
How do you tune in to what your body is telling you?
Tell us here so we can all benefit from your wisdom.